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15th Anniversary of the Biggest Blackout of the History of US

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posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 07:08 AM
Fifteen years ago on the same date, 14th August the biggest blackout happened in the history of the United States. One reason, as it was explained shortly, was tree branches interfered with power lines in Ohio, causing a massive chain reaction that affected over 60 million people in New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Ottawa and Toronto. Later a second explanation stated a computer glitch and some personal mistakes were the reason for the outage.

It was a regular summer day, the temperatures were in the 90’s, nothing out of the ordinary.

That changed at little over 4pm, when suddenly all power went out. No cellphone service, no internet, lights and traffic lights and worst of all no AC.

While in most areas the power was restored within hours, other areas like New York City suffered the outage for over 30 hours or more.

At that time I’ve lived in Queens, New York in a small basement apartment with no windows. I still remember like it was yesterday, how happy I was, as this crappy basement apartment was the very first place I rented on my own and how living myself without roomies was the best thing for me back then.

I also remember what I was doing at that moment, the power went out. I was sitting front of my laptop, on MSN Messenger chatting with my buddy, planning the evening out. Already dressed to leave, just a final confirmation about where we gonna meet. Little I knew but those plans were scratched shortly.

I remember first thinking it might be my apartment only, but going out to the street to check on the building I soon realized this is something more serious. There were no lights in the neighboring buildings, nor on the street as far as I could see.

Hours passed by and the only information we had was from the radios of the cars parked on our street and even that was very little. Lets not forget, we only had 9/11 almost two years ago, and without proper news some people were a bit worried. But later on New Yorkers did what they always do, coped with the situation. People started to grill their food on the streets, cars turned their radio on and the whole thing turned into a street party.

Some people were not as lucky, as they were stranded down in the Subway, many of them between stops. They had to be rescued and taken to the surface. A lot of people had to spend the night on the streets with no way to get home, at Grand Central, Penn Station etc, and thousands of them had to walk home, a walk that took hours.

While there was no reported lootings or any major crime, sadly, In New York City six deaths were reported: Two from carbon monoxide, two from fire, one from a fall off a roof while breaking into a shoe store, and one from a heart attack after climbing stairs.

The next morning, still no power and people started to worry a bit more. Still it was an extra day of off work for most of us which softened the situation slightly, also now, news came in of power restorations step by step so there was visible light in the end of the tunnel (pun intended).

Fortunately, around 7-8pm all lights suddenly came back without warning and the life in the City got back to normal…

As uncomfortable it was sometimes, I miss those years, best times in my life…

Were you affected? What is your story?

edit on 14-8-2018 by szino9 because: spelling

posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 07:13 AM
My daughter lived , outside of Toronto when this happened. She called home because they all thought it was an EMP pulse from a nuclear detonation here in the states. Had to break it to her that California was still here.

posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 07:15 AM
I drank an irresponsible amount of rum that night, the stars were amazing.

posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 07:17 AM
a reply to: wheresthebody

There was not much else to do

posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 07:34 AM
a reply to: szino9

I only use cash and always preach that so it was kind of satisfying watching people who relied on plastic and electricity to make transactions,not being able to do squat,while I had that "I told you so" look on my face.

Even today,if the power goes out...people still haven't clued in.
For that,I don't have a lot of sympathy.

I was on call so with everything was a bit of a break and I truly enjoyed the blackout.
I remember how people actually talked to their neighbors and people helped each other out.
I ended up in Quebec where they still had power and ordered pizza from my buddies house.

I loved it and had no problems whatsoever!!!

posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 07:47 AM
Try living in a hurricane prone state and lose power for a week to 2 weeks.

posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 07:49 AM
a reply to: szino9

I remember it vividly. We lived in NJ at the time and had just left on vacation. We were driving to Hershey Park for a few days. We weren't affected by the blackout at all, but it was definitely an eye opening to the vulnerability of the power grid. Personally, I've always thought there was more to how and why it happened, but that'll never been proven.

posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 11:34 AM
I remember the Northeast blackout of 2003. I wasn't directly affected, but it was big news for a while.

Apparently a handful of computer bugs and a lot of poor management practices lead to this disaster. We can only hope that these companies learned from their mistakes and now maintain better control of their power distribution grid.


posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 12:19 PM
I remember that. What a pain in the ass. I got off at 4 and was going to the liquor store. And continued to look for an open one on the way home. What a pisser. A LONG night that without booze.

ETA: And there's a lot of stores between Toronto and Georgetown. Not to mention the abysmal traffic.
edit on 14-8-2018 by intrepid because: (no reason given)

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